Press Release: CDFI Industry Veteran, Rodrigo Vela, Joins IFF as New Chief Financial Officer June 20, 2024

Chicago, IL (June 20, 2024) – IFF, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), recognized nationally as a mission-driven lender, real-estate consultant, and community developer for Midwest nonprofits, announced today that Rodrigo Vela has joined the organization’s senior leadership team as Chief Financial Officer.

Vela, a seasoned executive with a proven record of financial management, rigorous compliance and reporting, and leading an effective team, will oversee IFF’s accounting and internal controls, risk management, investor relations, and capital raising.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rodrigo to IFF’s leadership team,” said IFF CEO, Joe Neri. “His vast experience in the CDFI industry, his understanding of our mission, and his commitment to serving communities will be a great asset. As our new CFO, we are confident that Rodrigo will help keep IFF at the leading edge of the CDFI industry.”

“I have been familiar with IFF for many years as a peer in the CDFI industry and now it is an honor to join the great work they are doing,” said Vela. “As a leading CDFI, working deep in communities across the Midwest, I look forward to diving in, learning even more about the work, and being a part of the incredible impact.”

Vela served as the CFO for Raza Development Fund (RDF), a CDFI in Phoenix, AZ, for over a decade. As RDF’s CFO, he grew its balance sheet from $90 million to more than $300 million, tripled the size of its net assets, and negotiated or renewed over $700 million in enterprise debt. In support of this impressive growth, Vela led RDF’s efforts to earn a prestigious AA(-) S&P rating; to expand into the capital markets with an initial, public debt offering of $50 million; to become a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of San Francisco; and to access $100 million in debt through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Bond Guaranty Program.

Vela holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at the University of California Los Angeles and a BS in Physics Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Science and Technology in Monterrey, Mexico.


Media Contact: Laura Silverman, Managing Director of Communications |, 312-668-8271

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